Sunday, May 14, 2017

Public Charging 2017

You would think after several failures, wrong turns and plain old bad decisions, public charging would have learned from the past and at least have started on the correct path after 7 years but there is little evidence of that happening so far.

Any progress that has been made has likely been obscured by the fast growing demand caused by several new plugs on the road today and the number of plugs will be growing fast.

The issues vary widely from region to region and can be based on archaic laws about who can bill for power.  In British Columbia, there is a law that prevents charging stations from billing for services in many cases so free charging is the only option.  Problem with that is many take up a charging spot all day long when they only need a few hours to charge.  One plan to remedy that is fines. One location at a college studying electric vehicle charging supported by solar is thinking of instituting 4 hour charge time after which violators are hit with $60 parking tickets.

In other regions, demand fees are making expansion into the area a very costly proposition.  Places like Grays Harbor WA (negating the SC station recently installed) only has 2 Level 2 charging stations along with a handful of 120 volt plugs.  The very existence of the Tesla SC complex should be enough of an indication of how desirable travel in the area is. Recently an article illustrated this very point using 2 location on the EVgo network.  One station saw a lot of activity while the other was used much less but their costs due to demand charges were almost the same. IOW; demand charges was most of the bill!

So what we are facing is a situation that is getting worse by the day.  EV sales have escalated. New entries Hyundai, Chevy, and VW along with refreshed models from Nissan and Kia will insure that EV sales escalate rapidly.  Add to that a whole new batch of 200 mile EVs hitting the streets within a year to challenge the Bolt and our already overrun network will fail.

Now there was a glimmer of hope for me.  VW settlement meant money put towards public charging support and they had to not favor VW so they would be both CCS and Chademo.  Washington had $122.7 Million California was the first to announce that nearly every penny would go to public charging stations.  This gave me hope that Washington would do the same, especially considering we were the 2nd largest EV market with a woefully under supported network but that was not to be.

There are two proposals in the legislation; The Senate option is the worst.

NEW SECTION. Sec. 3079. FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY 31 VW Settlement Funded Projects (40000018) 32 The appropriation in this section is subject to the following conditions and limitations:33 34 (1) The appropriation is provided solely to implement the 35 requirements of the Volkswagen "clean diesel" marketing, sales 36 practice, and products liability litigation settlement. p. 97 ESSB 5086 1 (2) All expenditures from this appropriation must be consistent with the terms of this settlement.2 3 (3) To the extent possible, projects funded through this 4 appropriation should help achieve the state's results Washington goal of 50,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2020.5 6 (4) Fifteen percent of this appropriation must be spent upon 7 projects for the acquisition, installation, operation, and 8 maintenance of new light duty zero emission vehicle supply equipment 9 and infrastructure. The department of ecology must work with the 10 department of transportation to select projects and distribute funding contained in this subsection.11 12 Appropriation: 13 General Fund—Private/Local. . . . . . . . . . . . . . $13,000,000 14 Prior Biennia (Expenditures). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $0 15 Future Biennia (Projected Costs). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $0 16 TOTAL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $13,000,000 
The House proposal 

NEW SECTION. Sec. 3077. FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY 33 VW Settlement Funded Projects (40000018) The appropriation in this section is subject to the following conditions and limitations:  Official Print - 108 5086-S.E AMH ENGR H2636.E 1 (1) The legislature finds that it is appropriate to provide a  framework for the administration of mitigation funds provided to the  state as a beneficiary under the terms of the consent decrees entered  into by the United States, Volkswagen AG, and other participating  parties that settle emissions-related claims for 2.0 and 3.0 liter  diesel vehicles of certain models and years. The legislature deems  the department of ecology the responsible agency for the administration and expenditure of funds provided by the trustee under  the terms of the consent decrees, including the development of a  mitigation plan to guide the use of the funds, whether or not the department receives funds directly for projects included in the plan. (2) The mitigation plan and the stewardship of project implementation must adhere to the following guidelines: (a) Consideration must be given to investments in areas where public health is most impacted by nitrogen oxides pollution, and  especially in areas where disadvantaged communities reside; (b) Investments must fund, to the extent possible: (i) Projects that have not been funded or implemented by or before June 30, 2017, to mitigate nitrogen oxides pollution; and (ii) projects that do not replace projects and activities that were funded on or before June 30, 2017, for implementation after that date, to address such pollution by achieving an identical or substantially similar objective;

 (c) Investments in clean vehicles or clean engine replacements  must be shown to be cost-effective and, for the purposes of  leveraging funding, may not exceed the incremental cost of the clean vehicle or clean engine replacement, relative to the cost of a  similar conventionally fueled vehicle or conventionally fueled engine replacement;

 (d) Consideration must be given to investments in projects that employ a range of fueling technologies and emissions reduction technologies; and (e) Priority must be given to projects that have the highest benefit-cost ratios, in terms of the amount of nitrogen oxides emissions reduced per dollar invested.

(3) Funding must be allocated to eligible projects under the terms of the consent decrees in the following manner: (a)(i) No more than thirty percent of funding provided for  commercial vehicle class four through eight transit buses; Official Print - 109 5086-S.E AMH ENGR H2636.E 1 (ii) No more than twenty percent of funding provided for 2 commercial vehicle class four through eight school and shuttle buses; 3 (iii) No more than twenty percent of funding provided for (A) 4 commercial vehicle class eight local freight trucks and port drayage 5 trucks and (B) commercial vehicle class four through seven local freight trucks;6 7 (iv) No more than fifteen percent of funding provided for light duty, zero emission vehicle supply equipment;8 9 (v) No more than thirty percent of funding provided for 10 nonfederal matching funds for projects eligible under the diesel emission reduction act option; and11 12 (vi) No more than ten percent of funding provided for other 13 mitigation actions that are eligible under the consent decrees but 14 not otherwise specified under this subsection (3)(a). 15 (b) Projects that receive funding under (a)(iii) of this 16 subsection (3) and ocean-going vessels shorepower projects that 17 receive funding under (a)(vi) of this subsection (3) must include electric technologies, if practicable.18 19 (4)(a)(i) For the purposes of administering subsections 20 (3)(a)(i), (iii), and (iv) of this section, and, as needed, 21 subsection (3)(a)(vi) of this section, the department of ecology 22 shall enter into an interagency agreement with the department of 23 transportation. The department of transportation shall be responsible 24 for proposing candidate projects under these subsections, for working 25 with the department of ecology to determine their benefit-cost ratios 26 under subsection (2)(e) of this section, and for prioritizing these 27 candidate projects accordingly. The department of ecology shall work 28 collaboratively with the department of transportation to develop and 29 implement the elements of the mitigation plan that address these categories of projects.30 31 (ii) In meeting its requirements under (a)(i) of this subsection 32 (4), the department of transportation shall consider plans approved 33 under the consent decrees governing zero emission vehicle 34 infrastructure development identified in subsection (1) of this 35 section, making reasonable efforts to select candidate projects that 36 are complementary to those plans. The department of transportation 37 shall also consider and utilize, where appropriate and to the extent 38 possible, the following existing programs for alternative fuels and zero emission vehicles:39 Official Print - 110 5086-S.E AMH ENGR H2636.E 1 (A) The department of transportation's electric vehicle infrastructure bank program;2 3 (B) The state alternative fuel commercial vehicle tax credit; 4 (C) The state sales and use tax exemption for clean vehicles; and 5 (D) Public transportation grant programs administered by the department of transportation.6 7 (iii) To guide the department of transportation in meeting its 8 responsibilities under (a)(i) of this subsection (4) during the 9 2017-2019 fiscal biennium, a steering committee is established, 10 consisting of: The chairs and the ranking minority members of the 11 house of representatives and senate transportation committees, or 12 their designees; the director of the department of ecology; and the 13 secretary of transportation or his or her designee. The steering 14 committee must meet as needed to support the department of 15 transportation's contribution to the elements of the mitigation plan 16 that address the categories of projects referenced in (a)(i) of this 17 subsection (4). Staff support must be provided by the joint 18 transportation committee and nonpartisan committee staff of the house 19 of representatives and senate transportation committees. The 20 department of transportation staff must provide technical support, as needed.21 22 (b) For the purposes of administering subsection (3)(a)(ii) of 23 this section, including the development of the mitigation plan, the 24 department of ecology shall enter into an interagency agreement with 25 the office of the superintendent of public instruction. 26 (c) The department of ecology shall complete development of the 27 mitigation plan according to the timeline required by the trustee. 28 The department of ecology must submit the mitigation plan to the 29 appropriate committees of the legislature, as well as benefit-cost 30 information for projects pursuant to the guideline under subsection 31 (2)(e) of this section, on the same day that the plan is submitted to the trustee.32 33 (5) To the extent this section conflicts with the consent decrees, the consent decrees supersede it.34 35 (6) The department of ecology may modify the mitigation plan as 36 needed to comply with trustee requirements, including to the extent 37 these modifications conflict with this section. In making any 38 adjustments, the department of ecology shall consult with the 39 department of transportation and the office of the superintendent of Official Print - 111

So, its hard for me to be completely upset since zero emission school buses are important but the California proposal of mega charging complexes with 5-15 fast chargers per location would completely eliminate a lot of the range anxiety Washingtonians now experience.  I have heard too many people say "We weren't sure if XX station would be working or how busy it would be so we took the gasser instead"  comments.

The one location I use frequently; Tacoma Mall EVGO station is almost never a wait simply because there is two fast chargers.  We so desperately need these kinds of stations. Sure its nice to have a station on the way to the Olympics or the Cascades but when driving the Metro Puget Sound region, there are simply too many EVs and nowhere near enough plugs.  We need to have an acceptable level of certainty that we can charge in a timely manner on our planned routes.

We need to speak up. Allow our voices to be heard!

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